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Thursday, May 19, 2005

The Email - Part II - Dracula Redux

Part I.

Somehow I never thought of using the non compos mentis  defense for Dracula.

Also to say Vald Dracul knew what he was doing is absurd. You are talking about a guy who cut open his mistress's stomach just to find out if she was pregnant. The man for god's sake ran away as soon as he heard the turks were coming. It was just lucky the Turks got scared shitless by the thousansa of kebabed people Dracul had surrounding his castle for his own personal pleasure.

Ironically it wasn't just Vlad Dracul who battled the Muslim enemy. Timur the Mongol (or Tamerlane-- Christopher Marlowe's play Tamburlaine  recounts his conquests) claimed--falsely--to be a descendant of Genghis Khan. Even more ironic--he was a Muslim who slaughtered his way though most of the Muslim Middle East, conquering Persia, several Russian states, the Crimea, Dehli, Georgia, Aleppo, and Baghdad.

At the time (1402) his campaigns saved Constantinople. His army wiped out the forces of Islam and divided the Ottoman Empire among several princes, reducing it to a state of vassalage. When he died, however, the Ottoman's were back in business, intent on expanding their empire into the Balkans.

Long into the 15th century the Ottoman Empire never ceased their attempt to take Christian Europe, focusing particularly on the Balkans and Constantinople, heart of the Eastern Orthodox Church. It was only three years before Vlad Dracul took power that the siege and conquest of Constantinople took place. The city had lasted two months again Mohammed II, but, after a bloody conflict that killed Emperor Constantine XII, Contantinople fell. There followed wholesale slaughter--as was to be expected from Muslim conquerors. It was reported Mohammed II rode over the piles of corpses into the Church of St. Sophia, entered it on horseback, and declared it a mosque.

This is the history Prince Vlad Dracul knew--along with the fall of the Balkan Orthodox states of Bulgaria and Serbia--when the Muslim hordes turned their attention toward Romania. Ergo--he knew exactly what to expect and what he was doing. Whether or not he took pleasure in impaling his enemies and displaying them across the landscape as far as the eye could see, I have no idea. But it wasn't me who listed him in reports as one of the "Christian princes" who led the resistance against the Ottomans.

Romanian prices led Christian resistance against the Ottomans for centuries. They included Mircea the Elder in Wallachia (1386-1418); Ioan Corvin of Hunedoara, Duke of Transylvania (1438-1456), afterwards regent of Hungary; Vlad the Impaler in Wallachia (1456-1463); Stephen the Great and Holy in Moldavia (1456-1504),…and Michael the Brave of Wallachia (1593-1601), who for the first time united the three Romanian Principalities into a single state in 1600, and has since remained a symbol of unity for the Romanian People."

Prince Vlad died fighting the Muslim hordes. His head was chopped off (sound familiar?) and carried back to Constantinople where it was displayed on a stake. Thanks to Bram Stoker, however, no one remembers that footnote of history. And, thanks to the dictator Nicolae Ceausescu claiming Dracula was his idol, many are loathe to consider Vlad Tepes might, in some way, be a hero.

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This is what you said: "There followed wholesale slaughter--as was to be expected from Muslim conquerors"

I hope you don't say it of hatred. Muslims have been the most tolerant conquerors and didn't damage property, civilians or lands. When Prophet Muhammad conquered Makkah (the place from where he was expelled 10 years earlier), he pardoned everybody and entered the city with such humility, that history has no example of that. I hope you read the history of Umar Bin Khattab and people like Sulahaddin. Don't spread misiniformation.
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